Proving Negligence: What Factors Are Most Important?

When someone acts in a negligent or careless manner, which causes you or your loved ones to suffer an injury, you can file a negligence claim. Under the law, a person who owes you duty of care fails to deliver on that mandate and is proved to have been careless and that the carelessness resulted in harm can be held legally liable for negligence. The burden of proof in a personal injury lawsuit where you seek to recover damages on a negligence claim will be on you. Here are some elements that must be present for a negligence claim to hold in a court of law:


When it comes to assessing a negligence claim, the very first step is normally to determine whether the defendant owed you (the plaintiff) a legal duty of care. In most circumstances, the relationship that subsists between you and the defendant will automatically create a legal duty. A good example is the relationship between you and your doctor. In this relationship, the doctor is supposed to provide you with a high level of care and diagnosis. When broken, injuries can occur.

Breach of Duty

After it has been shown that the defendant owed you a duty of care, the next step will be to prove that the defendant breached this duty. The test for breach of duty considers what a reasonably prudent person would do in similar circumstances. The defendant will be found liable if it is an average person, knowing that his or her actions would cause harm to you, would have acted differently.


Having proved that the plaintiff breached the duty he or she owed you, the next step will require that you prove that the negligence by the defendant is what caused your harm or injury. For example, the decision by your employer not to fix a manhole which you later fell in and broke your leg can pass the test of causation. In this example, your employer owed you a duty of fixing the manhole which he or she didn’t and as a result you fell into it and broke your leg.

Proximate Cause

As a plaintiff, you will need to prove that the injury suffered was something that the defendant in the negligence case could have foreseen in her or his actions.


Finally, you will also need to prove that you suffered a legally recognized harm or injury. You must have suffered a real harm for you to be able to make a claim in a negligence case.

If you have suffered personal injury, you can contact a Baltimore personal injury attorney from Murphy, Falcon & Murphy. We have the skill and knowledge needed to help you navigate your negligence claim and seek compensation for the injuries you suffered.

Contact us today for a free consultation.